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Giving Web Video the Respect It Deserves

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YOUTUBE BLACK PEOPLE

Web videos have a stigma. Though everyone from the local broadcast news to almost every major brand in America is fascinated with viral videos, both as cultural phenomena and as a marketing tool, video content on the web gets little respect. I am not saying we should give extensive accolades to the producers of the most popular cat video nor should we put the sneezing baby panda on the same pedestal as Greta Garbo, but I do think that Hollywood and mainstream America needs to celebrate the fact that web videos are not some silly fleeting pastime in web 2.0 history, but the foundation of an artistic medium.

For the first time in history, a 19-year-old posting videos from their college dorm room is on the same content creator playing field as the top studios and most sought-after ad agencies. This equality has empowered and defined the Millennial Generation, whose online habits have been mirrored by the generations that preceded them and will surely influence those that follow. Teens' and young adults' perspective of web video content is totally different than most industry tastemakers. Web videos are how Millennials see their favorite musical artists, learn to dance, apply make-up, watch their favorite TV shows, rant about their grievances and brag about their favorite purchases. They don't see web video as the less successful step-child of TV or movies, they see it something all its own, something that is theirs and something that grows and changes as they do.

It is important that brands, advertisers and Hollywood acknowledge that web videos are no longer a new frontier. The audience has proven through billions of views that they are out there, insatiably watching content, sharing it across social media platforms and actively discussing it. Some might say web videos are often crudely produced and not taken seriously, but that is now drastically changing. Many brands, especially those targeting teens and young adults, have bravely charged into the web video world; however, there are still a lot that see video content as either simply a way to syndicate content from the older and more trusted mediums of TV and movies or as a medium that is too risky of an investment for their ad dollars. That paradigm needs to shift to a model where brands have the opportunity to function almost as art commissioners, where the art can simultaneously help their brand DNA as well as garnering a great deal of brand impressions.

One of the many other reasons why investing in web video content is so worthwhile for brands is because these web videos are deeply entrenched in robust online communities. They do not sit idly on the sidelines of popular websites like banner ads nor present an annoyance to viewers like in-video pop-ups, web videos are the focal point of Millennials' social media conversations. This connectivity-obsessed generation rally in mass behind their favorite web video content, revitalizing entire mediums like music videos and short films. This unique community is fueled by the very act of sharing, which to brands translates to almost free media placement, every advertiser's dream.

My goal through Cambio and our original video content is to help usher in a 'Golden Era' of web videos. With Millennials as our audience, we are refining this new medium, elevating web video content to something as polished as broadcast network television, but with as much creativity and ingenuity as the art and culture movements that have preceded it. Though Cambio is not alone in our goal to officially legitimize web videos, we have brought in Hollywood's top talent to produce unprecedented high-quality content that will have even the skeptics believing that this entertainment medium will soon rival all of the others.

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